Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I have a co-worker who left work early yesterday to tend to the needs of her 15 year-old dog, Ziggy.

Ziggy has not been doing well for the past several months.  During the past week or so it seemed that he was coming around and was having some really good days and was acting like a puppy.  My co-worker was hopeful that he would be around for a little bit longer.

Yesterday morning as she was getting ready for work she noticed that Ziggy didn't even try to get up to go eat.  He responded to her speaking to him; but she knew he was not doing well at all.  She left for work with deep concern. 

She called the vet in the morning and made an appointment to bring Ziggy in. 

A couple hours after she had left for the day she had called in and reported that when she arrived home she found Gio the other puppy laying quietly at Ziggy's feet.  Gio looked up at my co-worker and he seemed sad.  Ziggy was taken to the vet's office and there was nothing that could be done.  Ziggy was put to sleep yesterday afternoon.

The simple image of the younger puppy remaining with the older puppy stuck with me and I realized that even Heavenly Father's creatures understand charity; compassion and love. 

My mind reflected back on my sister, Emily, when she was a child.  She was the perfect example of unconditional love towards her brothers and sisters.  One time my brother, Christopher, had cut himself.  Emily ran to the linen closet to retrieve a wash cloth and then moistened it in the bathroom sink as she looked for a bandaid.  Emily cleansed the wound and bound it for Christopher.

The Savior taught many stories through parables and one that touches me deeply is the parable of the good Samaritan.  The purpose of this parable was to teach us to give to those in need, regardless of whether they are our friends or not.

Charity can be described as one of the most powerful attributes we can hope to attain.  The life of the Savior is an example of charity - even to the giving of his own life.   Before He gave His life He said:

"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."  - John 15:12-13

Each day we have opportunities to show compassion and love to those we come in contact with.  We do not know what others may be going through; yet we can show forth kindness with a smile.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


One of my favorite stories in the New Testament is found in John chapter 4.  Jesus has left Judea to go to Galilee.  On his way he stops in the city of Samaria.

Jesus stops at Jacob's well and there meets a woman of Samaria who has come to the well to draw water.

The dialogue between Jesus Christ and the woman commences and they discuss water....

There are many lessons taught through this story.  One is of acceptance.

The Jews in that day did not deal with the Samaritans and usually avoided Samaria when traveling.  Yet Jesus deliberately went through Samaria.  In our lives today there are those we try to avoid by going a different way and yet we should be more like Jesus and deliberately put ourselves in their path.  Who are these people that we sometimes avoid?  Is it a person or people who we consider to be inferior?  Are these people who have sinned?  Are these people we don't know well and we just don't take the time to get to know them better?

Whatever the case may be, we should strive to be more like Jesus.  Jesus  taught the woman and did so at her level of understanding; he showed her compassion and he forgave her of her weeknesses.  He showed her that there was a better way.

I often reflect on the friendships Victor and I have made with various members of the church and those that we work with.  Because I was raised in the church some of those friendships were difficult to forge.  It is easy to be friends with those who are just like you.  More common ground. 

It took eyes of understanding and patience to learn to accept others as they were and to remember that they too are children of Heavenly Father. 

When Victor and I were in the Ventura Stake; during the time that Victor was investigating the church; there was another family participating in the discussions.  Their past lives; rough exterior and loud personalities were offensive to my quiet reserved nature.  Victor and John became fast friends and we started going out on double dates with them.  I felt uncomfortable many times  because our personalities were so different.

John and Merry Beth were baptized several months before Victor was baptized and I began to see some changes with them.  I noticed that what I perceived as loud and offensive soon became fun and enjoyable.   After Victor was baptized both couples began working towards attending the temple.  John and Merry Beth were sealed in the Los Angeles Temple about six months before Victor and I were sealed in the St George Temple.

While John and Merry Beth lived in California we attended the temple with them once a month and we became strong friends. 

It has been many years since they left California (now living in Utah) and I still remember the blessings of having such good friends; so close, who, over time shared the same values and had a love of the Savior as I did.

We do not know the price we pay when we do not follow the example of the Savior in accepting and loving those we come in contact with.  We do not know how our lives will change and be better because we took the time to share the gospel and the blessings of the gospel with others. 

My life is better.  I am a better person for having learned the valuable lesson of accepting others and for loving them.  The most valuable asset of the church is it's members and each has the right to be treated with respect; love and kindness.  We all need to show forth kindness; acceptance; love and friendship to those we have stewardship over. 

Remember to do your visiting teaching or your home teaching.  Prayerfully prepare your lessons.  Smile and extend a hand to those who are new in the ward or to the gospel.  Be a friend. 

Friday, March 19, 2010


This morning I attended Seminary with Evan.

The lesson today was found in 3 Nephi 12 and we covered the first 12 - 13 verses and compared it to the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew.

This lesson was a good lesson for me and brought some peace to my soul. 

Since Sunday I have been struggling with my feelings and the sorrow that has been ebbing because of the lack of support that I felt should have been given.

During the lesson I realized that the only thing I can do is to be like Jesus.  The Beatitudes are a pattern for life, which Christ lived perfectly.  It won't matter how imperfect I am or how imperfect others are as long as I strive to live as Jesus Christ did.

I know that he was abandoned at times by his disciples.  He was forgotten by the saints.  And ultimately betrayed by an apostle.  Yet he lived his life in peace and found comfort in the the love and support that he felt from his Father.  I know these things to be true and I am glad for the simple reminders that are found in the scriptures.

I am happy that I chose to rise early this morning and attend Seminary.  I would not have received this reminder when I needed it if I had not gone.

The Lord loves his children and wants us to be happy.  The Tender Mercies of the Lord are miracles in our lives.  Look for them; look for him; you will find yourself.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Sunday was a difficult day for me and I spent two thirds of the meeting block trying to hold back tears.

For the past year or so I have served as the Primary Pianist and the Activity Days Leader and have had some wonderful experiences.  As I play the piano, I often have many visitors who like to sing along to what I am playing for prelude or postlude or they just stand and watch.  The many experiences I have had with the Valiant age girls have been priceless and both the girls and I have grown spiritually and have grown closer as sisters.

As I prepare the activities I do so keeping in mind the purpose of the program and the individual needs of the girls.  I try to accomodate their ideas and desires so that they don't feel left out.  There has been occasion that I have asked for information or assistance from leaders and priesthood holders.  Sometimes I get what I need immediately; other times I have had to ask multiple times.  Most often I do not get what I need (usually in the form of no response).

For the past month I have expressed the need for some priesthood assistance and was told that I would be contacted to get it organized.  I was not contacted by the individual.  I then approached the individual and was greeted with surprise "I didn't know anything about this..."  My husband and I both stared at this person in unbelief.  I touched base with the bishop and he seemed disappointed that I had not been contacted.

This past Sunday I inquired again and was told this time "It has been discussed in PEC and the Bishop is going to talk to you today."  I immediately went looking for the Bishop - could not find him.  I then went looking for Victor.  Found Victor and told him what had transpired.  He walked back with me to the Bishop's office.  I asked the ward clerk to let the Bishop know that I was looking for him.  He asked me where the Bishop could find me and I told him the Primary Room.

Long story short - I was never contacted and nothing has been arranged to help me.  I needed the assistance by this coming Saturday... :(

When I got home from church I was distressed and I told Victor that I didn't want to do it any more.  Why work so hard to do a good job when I don't get the support I need.  Don't members of the church understand what it means when the raise their arm to the square when sustaining members in their callings?  Every person that I spoke to said that they would support me and yet when I have asked for the support I get nothing.

I was so upset I decided that I wasn't going to go to church any more and that they could have fun looking for someone else to play the piano in primary; be the back-up to playing the organ in Sacrament Meeting; organize the muscial numbers for sacrament meeting and someone else to come to the church twice a month to help the girls earn their Faith in God.

I was filled with such sorrow I could not bring myself to change my mind.

This morning while getting ready for work; I was putting on my shoes and socks and talking to Vincent.  I asked him how he was doing and then asked him if I could ask him a personal question.

It was of a spiritual nature...  We spoke for about 15 minutes.  One of the things that I said to him; after talking about the "church thing" which he has some difficulty with:  "Vincent, it is not always easy to do the "church thing".  Sometimes it is even difficult for me.  Sometimes I just want to forget the whole thing.  Sunday was one of those days that made it seem not worth it.  However, I spent many years away from the church and I remember how I felt during that time.  I would rather not experience that again.  I am happy that the Gospel is a part of my life and I would not give it up for anything.  Even in the midst of sorrow and pain caused by the choices that others make."

At that moment of clarity I realized that I can continue doing those things that I know the Lord wants me to do.  I know that he is pleased with the many things that I have already accomplished. 

Does my spirit still ache?  Absolutely.  My feelings have been hurt.  Can I heal my broken heart!  YES!  I know that by continuing to serve those feelings will soon be mended and that I can forgive those who have offended.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

August 8, 2005

President Gordon B Hingkly has challenged us to read or reread the Book of Mormon in its intirety by the end of this year.  I am so excited!!

I read the Presidency message again this evening so that I could refresh my memory of what President Hinkley had stated.

I also created a little schedule so that I could manage my reading.  If I read 1-2 chapters a day I will complete the Book of Mormon before the end of the year!!  I made a schedule for Victor too!!  I hope he uses it.

I started reading and I finished chapter one... The last verse reads:

"And when the Jews heard these things they were angry with him; yea, even as with the prophets of old, whom they had cast out, and stoneds, and slain; and they also sought his life, that they might take it away.  But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chose, because of their faith, to make them might even unto the power of deliverance."  1 Nephi 1:20

I was reminded of this journal and decided that I should write again today.  I am grateful for my children and for their obedience to follow the Savior.  Aislyn turned 8 last month and was baptized this past Saturday.  What a blessing.  She was so beautiful and clean.  I am grateful for Elliott and Vincent and their diligence to remain worthy to hold the priesthood.  I am grateful for my husband who was able to baptize Aislyn.  I am grateful for my father who was able to confirm her and give her a blessing!!  What a blessed day.


This is an entry from my Tender Mercies journal.  I remember the challenge from President Hinkley and I did complete the reading of the Book of Mormon before the end of the year.

I have since re-read the Book of Mormon three more times and I have begun again.  I read the Book of Mormon in the morning before I start my day.  When I am waiting for Evan to be released from Seminary I read the Book of Mormon in Spanish.  Since I am slower in Spanish I am further in the English version.  As a result I recognize more and understand more as I read the Spanish version.

I have learned so much reading the Book of Mormon and it has been a blessing to me and my family.